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Take a well earned rest against the calming backdrop of unspoilt Sussex landscapes

Relaxing

In the 17th Century, tulips were considered so desirable that a single bulb was traded for 2 loads of wheat, 4 loads of rye, 4 fat oxen, 8 fat swine, 12 fat sheep, 2 hogsheads of wine, 4 barrels of beer, 2 barrels of butter, 1,000 lbs of cheese, one complete bed, one suit of clothes and one silver tankard.  There is no better place to appreciate the mesmerising properties of this irresistible flower than in Pashley Manor Gardens where they hold a 'Tulip Festival' every April/May with over 14,000 bulbs and more than 85 different varieties.

The fifteenth century Great Dixter was the family home of Christopher Lloyd, the famous gardening writer whose life was been devoted to creating one of the most experimental and innovative gardens imaginable.  Hurst Green's Merriments Gardens are similarly experimental only this time the design is concerned less with the origins of the plants and more with their appearance.

Although they are one of 1066 Country's finest picnic spots, Herstmonceux Castle Gardens are also of considerable interest to garden lovers with their beautiful Elizabethan walled grounds and the many woodland trails.  There's even a series of lily covered lakes that lead to a 1930s folly.  Follies are strange or unusual monuments to madness, inspiration and idiosyncracy that can be found in the strangest places.

One of 1066 Country's most charming eccentricities are Fuller's Follies, a series of bizarre landmarks built by Jack Fuller, a 19th century squire and Member of Parliament.  Fuller led an illustrious life in a period of British history known for its forceful and unusual characters and the English countryside is dotted with remnants of the Georgian elite's penchant for 'folly building'.

Within walking distance of Hastings Town Centre, Alexandra Park is the subject of a recent Heritage Lottery restoration project and was re-opened in 2004 by the BBC's Charlie Dimmock in a spectacular ceremony.  Visit www.hastings.gov.uk for a slideshow of the opening ceremony.  

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